The country's largest steelmaker SAIL is considering bidding for the stressed assets of Essar Steel and Bhushan Steel that are facing insolvency proceedings. According to sources, "a team of SAIL has visited the units of Essar Steel and Bhushan Steel almost 20 days back to assess how are units and to evaluate whether to bid (for) the units or not". Essar Steel was among the initial 12 companies identified by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for insolvency proceedings. "Since we (both Essar and Steel Authority of India Ltd) are in the same sector, we are keeping our options open for buying stressed assets," a SAIL official said. Bhushan Steel CFO Nitin Johari said "I have nothing to say.
There is a process going on thus I can't comment on it". However, Essar Steel could not be reached out for comments. Essar Steel owes about Rs 45,000 crore to lenders. Essar Group had earlier submitted expression of interest for Essar Steel and said it will submit a resolution plan to the insolvency resolution professional (IRP) within the scheduled time frame. The government has last month promulgated an ordinance to bar wilful bank loan defaulters as well as those with NPA (non-performing asset) accounts from bidding in auctions being done to recover loans under the insolvency process. The ordinance comes as a blow to defaulting promoters seeking to reclaim their firms that are under insolvency proceedings, aims at putting in place safeguards to prevent unscrupulous persons from misusing or vitiating the provisions of the IBC (Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code), the corporate affairs ministry had earlier said.